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Asian Art Calendar of Events

Friday, December 02, 2022


Exhibition Public - USA & Canada

Japan’s Floating World

The Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard,
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Apr 08, 2022 To Oct 09, 2022


Detail: A significant share of paintings, prints, and decorative arts made in Japan from the mid-1700s to mid-1800s captured artists’ responses to urban sex and entertainment districts unofficially known as the ukiyo (浮世), or “floating world.” Ukiyo-e (浮世絵), or “pictures of the floating world,” inspired by these exceptional spaces and their occupants, eschewed the grim realities of sex work, instead marketing beauty, celebrity, pleasure, and fashion, often in combination with allusions to famous literature or historical episodes. The term “ukiyo” was repurposed in the late 1600s from its much older use in Buddhism, where it described human frailty in the face of constant change. The new floating world, designed as an escape from the constraints of daily life for male government servants, thrived on ephemeral experiences and suggested a kaleidoscope of enjoyable possibilities. In addition to paintings, prints of courtesans and musicians vie with those of Kabuki actors and a sumo wrestler for attention in the spring installation (April 8–July 10), while prints of boating parties on the Sumida River feature in the summer installation (July 12–October 9). The exhibition also presents a feminist work by Oda Mayumi (b. 1941) rooted in the ukiyo-e tradition.

Phone No.: 216-421-7350
Site URL: https://www.clevelandart.org/exhibitions/japan%E2%80%99s-floating-world

Pleasure Boat on the Sumida River (隅田川舟遊び図)
Pleasure Boat on the Sumida River (隅田川舟遊び図)
1800s. Teisai Hokuba (蹄斎北馬) (Japanese, 1771–1844). Edo perio
40 x 55.3 cm
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

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